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11 Things You’d Never Guess Were In The Budget

Surprising government splurges, from deals with Estonia to vaccine stockpiles for doomsday.

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1. $4 million for a Social Security Agreement With The Republic of Estonia

Seanpavonephoto / Getty Images

The government will spend $4.2 million over four years to set up an agreement with our dear friend and neighbour, Estonia.

It’ll make it easier for older people to access the age pension if they’ve worked in both Australia and Estonia.

2. $20 million to build whatever a Synchrotron is

Warner Bros / Via Giphy

Finally an answer to the question Australians have been asking: “WHEN ARE WE GETTING OUR GODDAMN SYNCHROTRON?”

Is a Synchrotron:

a) A giant spider that shoots lasers and protects our borders

b) A breakdancing robot companion for regional schoolkids

c) The new judge on The Voice

d) Something to do with nuclear science

Well, it's d) and its run by the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation but ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ we don’t know what it does or why we need it.

(But you can find out here.)

3. $22 million to fight ISIS propaganda on social media

Twitter: @AlBrittaniyah

The government says it wants to "reduce the ability of terrorist groups to nurture extremists through the internet and social media” and try to stop terrorists from recruiting Australian foreign fighters.

They will introduce a Report Online Extremism tool and give community groups funding to help disenfranchised Australians reject terrorist propaganda.

4. $77 million towards the search for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370

Richard Polden / Getty Images

Adding to the $43.9 million in last year’s budget, the government will spend another $50 million to look for the Malaysia Airlines flight that went missing in 2014.

It will increase the search area to 120,000 square kilometres.


5. $4 million for the Australian Consensus Centre

Adrian Dennis / Getty Images

Despite the University of WA recently refusing to host an Australian version of controversial Danish climate policy skeptic Bjorn Lomborg’s Consensus Centre, $4 million over the next four years is still included in this year's budget.

The government must be holding out hope that another uni will pick it up, despite academic concerns.

6. $74 million towards the Ocean Shield

Australian Navy /

The Ocean Shield is the name of the ship that protects us all from boat people, and it will be given $74.3 million over four years to increase its time patrolling the seas looking for people-smuggling boats from 180 days per year to 300.

It’s described in the budget as a "national security measure”, which kinda implies that boat people are coming to get us.

7. $3 million for an iPhone app about an Australian WWI General

Wikimedia Commons /

If you thought all the ANZAC centenary commemorations were done, you thought wrong. There’s actually $36.4 million in the budget to go towards ANZAC commemorations over the next four years.

Three million bucks from that will go towards the "development of smart-technology applications and documentaries focused on the Australian experience on the Western Front and the legacy of Sir John Monash." You know, the guy who did the…uhhh.. yeah you know what, maybe we could do with that app after all.

8. $13 million to secure parliamentarians' phones

Stefan Postles / Getty Images

The finance department will spend $13 million over four years on upgrades to information technology security networks, including improving security on parliamentarians phones. Probably to stop a repeat of that time a few pesky dickheads on Twitter hacked their phones and sent fake messages.


9. $60m for Tasmanian irrigation projects

These programs will include funding for “a secure drinking water supply for the town of Bothwell.” Which begs the question, “Why the fuck didn’t the good people of Bothwell have access to drinking water before now and what have they been drinking all this time?"

10. $2 million to put the Australian Federal Police in Cyprus

Panoskarapanagiotis / Getty Images

Turns out the AFP are part of a UN peacekeeping force on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus and they've been there since 1964!

They’re planning to withdraw by mid-2017 but until then it will be funded with nearly $2m from existing AFP resources.

11. $34 million to replenish the National Medical Stockpile

Warner Bros

The government hoards medicines, vaccines and antidotes to prepare the nation for a Contagion-style outbreak of disease or other public health emergency.

Over the next two years, it’ll spend $34.2 million adding to our strategic reserve of influenza medicines to be used in case of “chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear events”. Spooky.